Friday, December 10, 2010

Calvin and Susie - Our Story

It has been a little over five hundred hours since I left Atlanta – my haven for six months. 18000 miles away from home and plenty of time on hand and a bustling community was the perfect cocktail to be in a constant state of mystified mind.

A mystified mind is a provocative one, harasses self with perpetual questions on subjects that you otherwise abandon. But the extravagance of time I had on hand I realize now was certainly a boon for many reasons – the most imperative being the time spent with B, the initial few months into any bond, one would know the vigor of it, would know how long it can be stretched, how deep are you willing to go and most importantly, how much are you willing to let go.

For everything in life, you are taught – from brushing your teeth to saying your prayers before bed, you are taught, but no one prepares you for a relationship that is possibly the most convoluted of all. When we took the plunge six months ago in front of hundreds of people wishing us a great life, we were grateful for their presence, now their wishes have come far and alive. On a lighter note, I suspect that for the Indian system of arranged marriage, one needs the wishes of hundreds of people for it is not easy for two complete strangers to become man and wife just like that.

Luckily for me, B was no stranger. We have known each other from our childhood days; our families were friends for over four decades. Having born in a family that shuns almost every religious festival, my sister and I were always invited over to B’s place to celebrate the festival of lights – Diwali. (Invited is probably a wrong choice of word, ’cause it was as good as celebrating it at one’s home. The tie between two families runs deep.)

I remember playing with him, fighting with him, I remember him as the peace maker when inane fights break between me and my sister (which was quite often when we were young), I remember going with him for movies, of course with family, as we grew and set apart I remember catching up with him at different stages of our pre and post teen life, not once did we ever think that we would end up where we are today.

Proposals came and went for both of us; neither of us was interested in early marriage but certain things we realize are beyond us. One fine day, out of the blue, my mother hesitantly asked what I thought of B. I cannot explain it, but I knew instantly that this was it, I have no rational explanation, I didn’t take the time to think, and my affirmative response was spontaneous, it is something that will puzzle me all my life.

In a couple of days, I heard from B, apparently he wanted to be sure that this was my decision and not forced upon, silly goose. =) He set the butterflies in my stomach free by saying yes, again a feeling that I was not aware of. Well I am still trying to comprehend whether it was fear or excitement. :D Fear some would say who witnessed my break down after marriage showing all signs of PMS – Post Marriage Stress. Well that was an embarrassing chapter; B as always maintained stoic calm and smiled his way through. Within days of marriage I had an episode of food poisoning owing to too much food, B had to leave to the states for lack of leave and I followed fifteen days later to be together. Our journey together started.

We had told each other that there weren’t any expectations, but days into our being together, I realized that isn’t the case. Marriage is a different game; you may enter without expectations but cannot stay like that. Once you have expectations, then comes adjustments, ‘letting go’ is a painful lesson but comes a long way.

A scanty six months into it, we are stronger than before. Our simple rule (unspoken rule) is the basis; talking things out, conversing about it but never argue.

As I write this, I think of him, it is 6.27 pm here; it will be 7.57 am there in Atlanta. He will be fast asleep; he has never been an early bird contrary to what I am. I think of the time spent there, the multitude of restaurants we visited and frequented, the one too many movies we watched, the wonderful trips we have been on, the late night movies at home with the best food and ice cream, the numerous fights we had on silly subjects like “what is golgappa?”, “How to set the oven temperature?”, “Whether Chennai trains pass through the station or park and reverse to their destination?”, “The role of a man and woman” and so much more which right now I am not able to recall. All our fights will/can be resolved only by Google. :D :P Our friends laughed at us, but not a mocking one. Not much has changed for us since our marriage; ‘cause we let each other be and that I believe is the foundation for everything.

It dawns on me that this complicated relationship is not really complex – It is a journey and mine blissfully is with a friend, a good friend.